What Are the Essential Elements of a Press Release?

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essential elements of a press release

About 14% of small businesses fail due to poor marketing. In fact, 50% of small businesses only survive for at least five years. If you want to set your business up for success, you need to learn how to write a press release.

Press releases will help you generate brand awareness and website traffic. It can also help you control how consumers perceive your brand.

Not sure how to write a release? Here are the essential elements of a press release you’ll need to include in your draft. With these tips, you can learn how to write an online press release journalists will want to publish.

Read on to start drafting your first press release today!

The Underlying Purpose

Before you begin to write your first press release, you need to consider why you’re writing it in the first place.

Don’t worry; the essential elements of a press release will remain the same regardless. However, focusing on the release’s underlying purpose is key. Otherwise, you might try to cover too much information within the press release.

Your press release should remain condensed to about a page.

What valuable information are you providing the journalists and their readers? What marketing goal do you want to accomplish by sending a release?

If the journalist can’t determine the press release’s purpose, they won’t feel a need to publish it.

Here are a few topics you might cover within an online press release:

  • A new business partnership
  • New product launches
  • Promoting or hiring an executive
  • An upcoming event you’re hosting
  • A company rebrand
  • Updating an old product
  • Rewards and accolades
  • Opening a new branch
  • Mergers or company acquisitions

As you format a press release, the information you provide should tie back into the underlying message.

When writing your release, make sure it’s clear, organized, and precise. Cut out any unnecessary fluff during the editing stage. If it doesn’t add value to the press release, it doesn’t belong on the page.

Essential Information

Consider finding a sample press release online as you first learn how to write a press release. There are a few key pieces of information you’ll need to include first.

Otherwise, consider hiring an experienced press release distribution and writing agency. They can save you valuable time and effort as you complete these steps.

Start by adding the words “For Immediate Release” to the top corner of your press release. If you want journalists to hold the release, provide a specific release date.

Then, include your company’s location.

Add your contact information to the document as well. If a journalist has any questions, they’ll want an easy way to reach out.

Make sure you’re including these pieces of information in the proper places. Don’t add these details to the body.

If your online press release isn’t formatted, the journalist reading it might toss it out.

An Attention-Grabbing Headline

As you learn how to write a press release, discovering how to draft exciting, engaging headlines is key. In many cases, the headline is the first element the reader will see. If it doesn’t grab their attention immediately, they might turn away.

You only have a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention. Use exciting action verbs to draw them in.

Try to avoid unnecessary, flowery language, though. Instead, captivate the reader with a quick, concise headline. Make sure you’re communicating the value you’re offering, too.

A clear, concise headline can help you stand out as journalists read through the hundreds of releases they read each day. If they can’t zero in on the value you’re offering, they’ll move on.

The Five W’s

Start by adding your location in front of the opening paragraph in bold, followed by an m-dash (—). Then, draft your lede paragraph.

Your press release’s lede paragraph should include the who, what, where, when, and why. The five W’s will provide readers with key pieces of information. Then, they can decide whether to keep reading your release.

For example, if you’re launching a new product, consider:

  • Who is releasing the product
  • What the product is
  • Where consumers can buy the product
  • When the release date is
  • Why they should care

Make sure it’s clear and concise.

An Interesting Quote

Add an interesting, informative quote from a key stakeholder. Make sure their quote is adding value to the press release.

You might also quote a project leader or member of the executive team. Choose someone who will add authority to the piece.

Bulleted Facts

People will likely skim-read your press release. To improve readability, consider adding a bullet point list (instead of a lengthy paragraph).

As with any piece of information, make sure your bullet list provides valuable details to your press release. Otherwise, cut the fluff!

Helpful Information

Use your body paragraphs to provide readers with additional information.

When writing your press release, keep the inverted pyramid writing style in mind. Add key pieces of information to the top of the release.

If a journalist thinks your press release is too long, they’ll cut content from the bottom up.

Company Details

Finish your press release with a paragraph that provides readers with information about your company. Your boilerplate should highlight what your company does. Add a link to your company’s website, too.

Adding a link to your website will allow you to generate a backlink, which can benefit your search engine rankings. In fact, backlinks are one of Google’s top ranking factors. Higher rankings will help more people find your press releases and business online.

The Closing

End your press release with “###” to signify to journalists that they’ve reached the end of the page. Then, use a press release distribution service to ensure the right publications find your release.

Proper PR: Include These Essential Elements of a Press Release

Don’t miss the opportunity to generate brand awareness, website traffic, and leads. Instead, learn how to write a release this year. Make sure to include these essential elements of a press release within your draft.

If you need help, you don’t have to write your online press release alone. Instead, consider hiring a professional team for the task.

Eager to get started? Explore our pricing today.

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